Far into the future, Earth is the home base of a corporate enterprise that stretches far beyond the stratosphere. A branch of this organisation is being established to determine its feasibility on a space station that orbits Earth, the enterprise is called Solaris. On Earth, Chris Kelvin (played by George Clooney) is a psychologist with a busy and successful practice. His client list spans both Earth-bound and space-resident people in need of counselling and guidance. One day, Chris gets a strange and worrying video message from his friend Gibarian (by Ulrich Tukur) who is working on Solaris. Gibarian is clearly traumatised and terrified, but doesn’t explain why. He begs Chris to come to Solaris and help. Chris travels to Solaris to find out what’s happening there and to make sure his friend is safe. What he finds when he gets there changes his life forever ……
Although science fiction is not my genre of choice, in fact I usually purposely shy away from it, this movie is excellent. It teeters on the boundary between plausibility and fantasy so that someone like me can get enjoyment out of it. As Chris Kelvin, George Clooney exhibits his marvellous acting ability once again. He is intense, every emotion is clearly shown and he is very good in this wide ranging role. Steven Soderberg has made a unique movie with a moody, dark setting to match the suspense. His scene construction develops very well and the scarcity of music and often vast silences are enough to set each scene very well indeed. The cinematography is exquisite, the blur between real-life and hallucination is very well done and the audience is in this every step of the way. Clooney is very well supported by a small but very strong cast of Natascha McElhone, Viola Davis and Jeremy Davies – these performances are all unique and totally marvellous. It’s a great movie.
This is a remake of the 1972 movie of the same name by Andrey Tarkovskiy that won the FIPRESCI Prize and Grand Prize of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival in the same year.
Made in 2002. Directed by Steven Soderberg